4 Steps to Choosing a Charity on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global giving movement fueled by social media and inspired by a vision to make the world a better place. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the popular “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 with a simple goal: encourage people everywhere to be generous.

Since then, this simple goal has turned into a global movement in which millions of people give generously, do good, and celebrate one another. This year, the big day lands on December 3.

If you’re wondering how you can make the biggest impact with your gift, below are four ways to choose a charity on Giving Tuesday.

1. Ask Yourself, “What Inspires Me?”

Determining your passions is a great way to kickstart your search for the perfect charity this holiday season. A few key questions to help decipher these are:

  • What motivates you?
  • What type of work makes you smile?
  • What injustices do you see in the world that bring forth an emotional response?

Often, what stirs emotion in you is what you care about at your core. Every person has a problem that they feel instinctively passionate about helping solve. What do you want to be a part of? Maybe it’s mentoring underprivileged children or helping homeless veterans. Perhaps it’s bringing clean water to families in rural parts of the globe. Consider these questions to narrow down your passions.

2. Align Your Values

Now that you’ve begun thinking about causes close to your heart, identify your values. Your values are what guides your passion. They keep you moving forward on the right track, and they can help decide which organization to choose this Giving Tuesday.

Below are questions to help clarify your values and find a nonprofit that aligns with you.

  • Are there specific populations you would like to serve (e.g., children, homeless, etc.)?
  • Does it matter if the charity is faith based?
  • Is sustainability important to you?
  • Are you interested in development (long-term, permanent solutions) or relief work (immediate, short-term solutions to urgent needs/emergencies)?
  • Do you prefer international work or something closer to home?
  • Do you prefer a large, well-known organization, or do you value more of a lean, nimble nonprofit?

You can find mission and values statements on most nonprofit websites. Knowing your own values and comparing them to theirs can help you decide which charity or charities you want to invest in this Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday
Through Lifewater’s work in Ethiopia, girls and boys can attend school without making long walks for unsafe water.

3. Search Charity Navigator

Another way to choose a charity on Giving Tuesday is to browse ratings from a third party. Charity Navigator is a trusted, independent resource for evaluating charities of all types. To find a charity on Giving Tuesday, just search the names of the organizations you’re considering.

You can also search by organization type and filter by rating, size of the organization, or the scope of the work. When you click on a charity, you’ll get access to their overall rating, their financial rating, and their transparency status. You’ll also be able to see how their programs have made an impact on the problems they seek to solve.

Look for organizations with a four-star rating (the highest offered by Charity Navigator)! Four stars means that the organizations “Exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its cause.” It’s a sign of an overall healthy organization that can be trusted with your gift.

4. Look for Real Impact

If you’re giving to a charity that aligns with your passions, your values, and has positive ratings on Charity Navigator, the final piece is to determine the impact of your giving.

A great indicator that a charity is making a positive impact in the areas you care about is that they track progress and share regular updates with their donors. Take a look at their website and social media presence. Do they provide data-backed updates on the impact of their programs? You should be able to easily access their annual report and spending ratios.

Real numbers and regular stories of transformation show that the organization values accuracy and transparency. And with this information, you’ll know that your gift will make a difference.

Giving Tuesday
Through Lifewater’s programs in Cambodia, children in the 79 villages Lifewater currently works in no longer suffer from painful waterborne illnesses.

Give Real Joy, Give with Lifewater this Giving Tuesday

If Lifewater aligns with your passion and values, this Giving Tuesday is an excellent time to partner with us and make a big impact.

For over 40 years, Lifewater has operated as a faith-based nonprofit clean water and community health organization committed to helping families living in extreme poverty thrive. Lifewater currently holds Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star charity rating.

We bring clean water to remote communities in great need, and this season, we’ve set out on a mission to fund 100 Water Projects before December 31.

On, you can read real stories and see photos of children in villages and schools in Ethiopia, Cambodia, and Uganda in need of safe water, life-saving health practices, and the hope of Jesus. This Giving Tuesday, generous donors have put matching funds on 10 village water projects, meaning when you give, your gift is doubled. And when you give, you’ll get real-time updates on the status of their progress throughout the year.

Let’s accomplish something big together. Let’s give real joy to families in need.


Choose a Village. Change a Life.